Martinez insisted the striker's 72-minute outing was the one shining light from a disappointing afternoon in the northeast.
"He has been a real example," said the Toffees manager to evertonfc.com. "He has been away from the pitch working extremely hard and wanting to show people what he can do for Everton.
"It was a shame that after 60 minutes he was starting to cramp. The way he was holding up play, helping the build-up and scoring so early was pleasing.
"Arouna is a player that is very different to what we have in the squad. He brings real happiness and a sense of anticipation of what he can bring in the second half of the season.
"He deserves the feeling that he has now - it is just a shame that we didn't win. Arouna wanted the three points more than anyone after coming back and having the chance to start.
"He was a pleasing aspect of the game in terms of the way he performed."